How to Swap a Kreidler Clutch
Due to failed clutch pads in my Kreidler transmission, I decided to swap it out with another I had in a spare engine. You can use the same techniques / tools to remove the two clutches to repair the pads also, as the gluing and clamping process would be much simpler with the whole part removed.
Also, please refer to the Kreidler Repair Manual for 'official' instructions, though they are not very specific.
- Adjustable crescent wrench that will extend to 36mm (Mine was $15 at a local hardware store)
- Small adjustable crescent wrench, or similarly-sized box wrench
- Socket Wrench
- 17mm Socket
- 13mm Socket
- Rubber Mallet
- Metric Allen Wrenches
- Flathead Screwdriver
- Go SLOW! You don't want to mess this up or break the hard-to-obtain tools.
- Be sure of what you're doing before you do it.
- Do NOT follow this guide as you go, please read through it carefully before performing all steps. Consult the Kreidler shop manual also to see what they say to make sure you do everything correctly.
- Empty the transmission fluid through the draining hole on the bottom of the motor.
- Use the flathead screwdriver to remove the case screws on the metal side of the engine / transmission.
- To remove the case cover, use the flathead to gently pry a little on opposite sides between the cover and the case. Do this around all sides until the case can be removed. Save the gasket and put aside if it is in usable condition.
- Remove the spacing washers from the large outer gear and the clutch bell. Important! Remember how many and which washers go where. This is important when re-assembling!
- Remove the large outer gear and the clutch bell; store somewhere safely.
- Remove the needle-bearing from the inside of the clutch; use your pinky finger or something else non-damaging.
- Take out the clutch removal tool, it has three screws on the bottom and a pusher in the middle.
- Screw the three bolts into the clutch using an appropriately-sized allen wrench.
- Screw in a clockwise motion until the three bolts just become snug. If you go too far, you will leave thread marks on the underside of the clutch.
- Use the adjustable wrench to clamp onto the large nut on the tool. Also use the 17mm socket wrench on the pusher bolt in the middle of the tool.
- Holding the adjustable wrench in place, turn clockwise with the socket wrench. You have to use a considerable amount of arm strength doing this, as the clutch is on the shaft very firmly. It will make squeaking and prying noises; this is normal.
- Eventually, the clutch will be loose; it has come off of the shaft. Remove it carefully; there will also be a washer that falls out or is slightly stuck in the middle. This is the thrust washer.
- The second gear clutch can be removed easily, just pull it out gently. As you can see, mine is scored and has clutch pad material jammed in the rear.
- Congratulations! You removed the Kreidler clutches.
- Place a new, different, or repaired second gear clutch in the transmission. (Note: I have plans on using JB Weld, a hose clamp, and box knife to repair my old one in the future)
- Place the old / different first-gear clutch onto the same shaft as the second-gear one. It will stick out the way it did when you removed it.
- Using the other Kreidler tool, the clutch installer, place it in the center of the clutch as shown. Use the small crescent wrench to clamp on to it and the 13mm socket wrench to clamp onto the top. Screw the middle bolt into the clutch! It has threads on the inside for this tool.
- Rotate the crescent wrench clockwise and the socket wrench counter-clockwise. You again will need considerable arm strength to do this and will hear the same squeaking and prying noises as before.
- Continue until the clutch won't move in anymore, do not force it any further. It should be or close to being flush with the surface of the engine case where the seal normally goes.
- Remove the tool; I don't remember exactly how I did this, but it involves loosening the tool and then the bolt in the tool; it requires finagling.
- Place the thrust washer inside of the clutch where it was originally. Also place the needle bearing inside after the washer.
- Place the clutch bell and large outer gear-thing back in the transmission. BIG NOTE: You also need to put the spacing washers back in on the shafts! The manual talks about how to space everything properly using calipers or a similar tool; DO THIS! I can't due to not having the proper measuring device.
- Seal the case up, I originally used the gasket and some red high-temp RTV (following the setting-up instructions). It is important the spacing is correct, but without access to the proper gasket, this has to do for now.
- Place the case cover back on the case in conjunction with sealing it up. Use the rubber mallet to get it back on all of the way.
- Screw the screws into the cover (in conjunction with sealing it up, of course).
- YOU'RE DONE! Now test it out.
I have not yet had a chance to test everything out personally; My wheels are having the bearings replaced and I cannot test the engine at this time. I will, however, post results when I can about how this fix worked out. I am NOT in any way responsible personally if this messes up your transmission; follow at your own risk!